14 May 2013

Pope Francis: 'When you express profound devotion for the Virgin Mary . . .'

Las Manañitas a La Virgen , 12 December 2007, sung in the Basilica of Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Tepeyac, Mexico City, after the early morning Mass on her feast day, 12 December.   Las Mañanitas  is a traditional Mexican birthday song, also known in the Philippines, sung to the celebrant very early in the morning.

In his homily on 5 May during Mass on the occasion of the day of confraternities and popular piety Pope Francis said: When you express profound devotion for the Virgin Mary, you are pointing to the highest realization of the Christian life, the one who by her faith and obedience to God’s will, and by her meditation on the words and deeds of Jesus, is the Lord’s perfect disciple (cf. Lumen Gentium, 53)

Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental, Philippines

In the Philippines we observe the Flores de Mayo, The Flowers of May, every year. It is basically a programme for children, mostly from poor families, led by volunteers throughout the country who teach the youngsters the basics of our Catholic faith. The children also bring flowers which they place before a statue of the Blessed Mother. At the end of each daily session of catechism and prayer the children lay flowers before a statue of the Blessed Virgin.

The popular piety of Filipino Catholics has been greatly influenced by Mexico, since Spain colonized the country from that country. Originally the Philippines was part of the Archdiocese of Mexico. When the Diocese of Manila, covering the whole country, was established in 1579 it was still linked to that archdiocese until it became one itself in 1595 and three other dioceses were established in the Philippines.

There is an exuberance in the piety of Filipinos but I think that the piety of Mexicans is even more exuberant, as shown in the video above. Renowned singers and musicians, along with the congregation, give a concert in honour of our Blessed Mother.

Nuestra Señora de GuadalupeOur Lady of Guadalupe

The May-June 2013 issue of Misyon, the online magazine of the Columbans in the Philippines, has an article by Vissia Hernandez, a Filipina who visited Guadalupe, A Visit to Tepeyac.

I added the following video to the article. Marco Antonio Solís is a Mexican singer known throughout the Spanish-speaking Americas.

Himno a la Humildad, sung by Marco Antonio Solís

Con que gusto venimos con gran emoción
a decirte lo que hay en nuestro corazón;
hoy es dia de fiesta hasta en el mas pequeño rincon;
hoy se muere el rancor y florece el perdon.
How we love to come with great feeling
to tell you what is in our heart;
today is a festive day even in the most remote corner;
today hatred dies and forgiveness blossoms.

Virgencita . . . milagrosa,
eres tú la estrella mas hermosa de la creación.
Beloved Virgin . . . miraculous,
you are the most beautiful star in all creation.

Virgen morena, Reyna de la esperanza,
hoy te cantamos el himno a la humildad.
Eres la tierra donde la fe sembramos
y cosechamos siempre de tu bondad.
Dark Virgin, Queen of hope,
Today we sing to you a hymn to humility.
You are the soil where we sow faith
and always harvest from your kindness.

(Hablado) Aqui venimos, madrecita, con nuestros cuerpos mas cansados que la ultima ocasión, 

pero con un amor tan grande para ti que no nos cabe en el corazon, 
por que eres consuelo divino, luz de todos los caminos. 
Gracias por quedarte siempre con tus fieles peregrines.

(Spoken) We come here, beloved Mother, with our bodies more tired that the last time,
but with a great love for you that our hearts can’t contain,
for you are the divine consolation, the light of all roads.
Thank you for always being with your faithful pilgrims.

Virgencita adorada, no me puedo ir
sin decirte mil gracias, tu sabes por que,
y teniendo el momento, te quiero pedir
por los que por justicia se mueren de sed.
Dear Blessed Virgin, I cannot leave
without thanking you a thousand times, you know what for,
and taking this opportunity, I want to petition you
on behalf of those who have given their lives in the cause of justice.

Virgen morena, Reyna de la speeranza,
hoy te cantamos el himno a la humildad;
eres la tierra donde la fe sembramos
y cosechamos siempre de tu bondad.
Dark Virgin, Queen of hope,
Today we sing to you a hymn to humility.
You are the soil where we sow faith
and always harvest from your kindness.

[Thanks to Fr Jovito Dales for help with the translation.]

One think that is striking about these videos is that the singers, musicians and people face the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe when they sing to and play for her. The concert is in her honour. Nobody would say that Marco Antonio Solís was singing 'with his back to the people'. Can we learn, or re-learn, something about the celebration of the Mass from this?


Ruth Ann Pilney said...

¡Me gustan Las Mañanitas para la Virgen de Guadalupe!
Thank you for this post in honor of Our Lady. I'm so happy that our Holy Father is demonstrating his devotion to Mary. I am going to read your magazine story online.

Fr Seán Coyle said...

¡Gracias, Ruth Ann!